A furry eating machine.
Deer. Our arch nemesis, our gardens’ bane. Vegetation trembles as they pass.
“But they’re so cute!” I hear some of you say. Others of you nod sagely, a grim smile etched onto your face as your own encounters with these beasts surface from the dark waters of memory. You know, yes, you know of what I speak.
But those of us at Kinglet Farm have a plan. We are tired of finding rhododendron shrubs half-smashed to pieces, leaves torn asunder. We are tired of worrying about always wearing hats in the backyard for fear of ticks. We are tired of avoiding the endless piles of turds strewn across the forest floor. Enough is enough. We are done being Motel 6 on the deerway.
The eleven (!) black-tailed deer that currently graze on our front lawn can leap a maximum of six feet three inches, according to the literature. White-tailed deer can manage eight feet, so thank goodness for small mercies. We bought sturdy wire fencing, six and a half feet high. It’s too strong to push down, and too high to jump over. We hope.
This had better work.
Each roll of fencing is three hundred and thirty feet long, and weighs just as much as you think three hundred and thirty feet of six and a half foot high galvanized steel fencing would weigh. J Roy, Big Al, Irene, and I wrestled that behemoth all the way to the top of the property, over fallen trees and errant boulders, with only a modicum of cursing. Everyone had a different idea of unrolling it and installing it, and we had a few minutes of loud discussion and wild gesticulation as we all attempted to make our plans heard. Eventually we agreed on a method, and the unrolling began.
It went incredibly smoothly, all things considered. We dug supporting poles and constructed triangle supports propped up with rocks to hold the fencing in place. Big Al connected four industrial strength extension cords together and hauled up the compressor and staple gun, which made light work of attaching the fencing to the poles. I rolled up endless strings of barbed wire, which had made up the previous fence. Barbed wire is fine for sheep, perhaps, but the deer soar gracefully over the useless three foot high wire.
It was a long day, but we managed to put up fencing over two-thirds of the northwest side. It looks amazingly strong. The deer haven’t breached it yet, despite the fact that it directly impedes one of their main highways. Of course, it hasn’t stopped them from simply walking around the fence and happily munching on our plants once again, but we are patient. One day the fence will be done, and then we’ll see who’s laughing, deer. Then we’ll see who’s laughing.